Simultaneous liquid chromatographic-electrospray ionization mass spectrometric quantification of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine in squirrel monkey and human plasma after acidic conjugate cleavage

Melanie Mueller, Frank T. Peters, Marilyn A. Huestis, George Ricaurte, Hans H. Maurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is a psychoactive drug with abuse liability and neurotoxic potential. Specimen preparation of a recently presented LC-MS assay with electrospray ionization for quantifying MDMA and its main metabolites in squirrel monkey plasma was modified to include acidic hydrolysis to obtain total 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-methamphetamine. Method re-validation for squirrel monkey plasma and full validation for human plasma showed selectivity for all analytes. Recoveries were ≥71.0%. Changed specimen preparation or matrix did not affect accuracy or precision. No instability was observed after repeated freezing or in processed samples. Plasma MDMA and metabolites quantification, derived pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic data and neurotoxicity research will benefit from this validated method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2009



  • Acidic hydrolysis
  • Human plasma
  • MDMA
  • Metabolites
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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